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Labor Statistics Show Manufacturing Productivity Decrease Across Nation

By Justin Hicks, IPB News | Published on in Business, Economy, Statewide News
Inside Purdue University's new Manufacturing Design Laboratory, robots fabricate pieces, then hand them off to one another for testing – all without humans touching the parts. (Samantha Horton/IPB News)
Inside Purdue University's new Manufacturing Design Laboratory, robots fabricate pieces, then hand them off to one another for testing – all without humans touching the parts. (Samantha Horton/IPB News)

Numbers released this week showed widespread declines in manufacturing productivity across the country last year.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a national decline in labor productivity for 67 of the 86 manufacturing industries they monitor.

Notably for Hoosiers, there was a 4.7 percent drop in productivity for transportation manufacturing. According to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, the state has the second-largest automotive industry in the country.

Stephanie Wells is the vice president of workforce development for the Indiana Manufacturers Association. She says part of the national productivity decrease is likely a result of hiring shortages in the state.

“We can’t hire enough people and so I think this is just the outcome of that,” Wells says.

Some of the sectors that did experience productivity growth were oil and gas extraction.